Malaysian Navy chief confirms fleet plans
The head of the Malaysian Navy discusses how his service will buy new ships while being dramatically downsized
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By Georg Mader
Earlier this year, Kuala Lumpur awarded a contract for four Littoral Mission Ships (LMSs) to be built in China but outfitted by the Malaysia's own Boustead Group.
Buying Chinese naval vessels in order to bolster defence against intrusions by Chinese maritime assets truly underscores the complexity of relations in the South China Sea.
We took the opportunity to ask the Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) chief commander, Admiral Ahmad Badaruddin Kamarulzaman (Kamarul), how this acquisition will occur – and what it means for the overall shape of the fleet in the coming years…
Defence IQ: Admiral, what will this Chinese LMSs actually offer the navy?
Kamarul: Littoral mission ships are relatively small, thin vessels, designed for stealthy combat near coastlines and sometimes to take on bigger enemies. With a coastline stretching from the Sulu Sea westward to the Indian Ocean, we need these four littoral platforms to be made in China. They will be delivered to RMN in 2019-2020.
DIQ: And they'll be partly built in Malaysia?
Kamarul: The procurement contract was signed between the Government of Malaysia and...